McDonalds offers Black & Positively Golden scholarships

McDonald's offers Black & Positively Golden scholarships

 April 07, 2021

McDonald’s USA, through its Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program, is awarding half a million dollars to incoming and current HBCU students. Through this initiative, in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), McDonald’s is furthering its support of the next generation of leaders.

Helping to elevate the Black community

According to “Moving Upward and Onward: Income Mobility at Historically Black Colleges and Universities,” a study conducted by Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute/Rutgers Graduate School of Education,  more students experience upward mobility at HBCUs than any other institutions,  and nearly 70% of HBCUs students attain at least middle-class incomes. Understanding the impact of HBCUs on Black youth, McDonald’s is committed to helping elevate the Black community by awarding scholarships to students who are striving to turn their dreams of attending and graduating from an HBCU into reality. 

“We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with McDonald’s and work with these exceptional students,” said Dr. Harry L. Williams, President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). “Amid the uncertainty and confusion of the current state of the world, students remain some of the key drivers of change. They are rising to the challenges they are facing and working hard to provide much-needed support to their families and communities. With the help of partners like McDonald’s, TMCF is committed to supporting these outstanding students and helping them develop into tomorrow’s industry leaders.”

Thirty-four scholarships, up to $15,000 each will be awarded to students for the 2021-2022 academic year, and winners will be announced this summer.

Supporting students to continue their education

McDonald's scholarship

Launched in 2020, McDonald’s created the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program to help HBCU students continue their education in the midst of COVID-19, which caused financial strain on many students and their families. As a result, 34 students received funding that helped them stay in school, despite challenging circumstances.

“The McDonald’s scholarship I received came at a critical time and allowed me to focus on academics and my career aspirations,” said Olivia Harris, a 2020 Black & Positively Golden Scholarship recipient and junior at North Carolina Central University. “The knowledge I’m gaining at my HBCU is preparing me for the real world, and it’s incredible to see others have this scholarship opportunity as they pursue their dreams.”

McDonald's is dedicated to providing skills, training and education programs that support people who are building a path forward and achieving their goals, no matter where they are in life. The Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Program is one of many company initiatives that is helping serve up bright futures in the communities McDonald’s serves. The company has a longstanding history of supporting HBCUs through scholarships, partnerships and its presence on HBCU campuses and at Classics around the country. During its 20-year partnership with the TMCF, McDonald’s has invested millions of dollars in direct and indirect support to benefit the organization and students, including providing career building resources and supporting the TMCF Leadership Institute.

"As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the ability of students to attend college, we are honored to provide support and financial resources to help HBCU students nationwide turn their dreams of going to and staying in college into reality,” said Marty Gillis, New Jersey McDonald’s Franchisee and National Diversity Marketing Committee Lead.  “We are committed to feeding and fostering the communities we serve, and seeing young, gifted and Black students succeed, and couldn’t be prouder to partner with the TMCF for more than 20 years to do so.”

How to apply

Students interested in applying must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be 18 years old or older
  • Be enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior attending an HBCU during the 2021-2022 academic school year
  • Have a current cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher
  • Demonstrate leadership abilities and financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551

Incoming and current HBCU students are encouraged to apply for the Black & Positively Golden Scholarship via Thurgood Marshall College Fund website.


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McDonald's is serving up bright futures by providing opportunity for education and skills in the communities it serves and accelerating equity and inclusion across the business.

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